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A Creature of Fire  by daw the minstrel 18 Review(s)
AliceReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/22/2005
I really like Sinnarn. Poor guy is much put on by his family though. In a lot of ways he has it worse than Legolas did. He doesn't have just a father, a keeper, and two brothers babying him, he's got a father, a grandfather, a mother, a keeper and two uncles babying him. Most of whom are his boss in some way, shape or form, the poor woodelf.

So Galelas and Legolas are up to their old tricks. Stupid boys. Too bad Maldor isn't around to give them a common enemy to one up. That's one of my favorite moments from your stories by the way. Rival students uniting against that one great evil: the teacher! At the very least, I think they could bond over being the younger sibling and the "baby" of the family. Tinar's family does not strike me as one that would have noticed if Galelas grew up. Ah well, they'll work things out. They're both too serious about this warrior schtick to let any animosity get too much in the way of business.

So that scene with the dwarves is really ironic considering Legolas becomes best friends with a dwarf later. It makes me giggle to think of the woodelves' reaction to a dwarf entering their forest as a guest of their prince. Poor confused homeguard. Hee. Poor Beliond who no doubt follows Legolas to Ithilien and lives in close quarters with both men and dwarves. That was probably a "What did I do to deserve this?" moment for Beliond. Poor Beliond, stuck with Curious George as a prince to protect.

So, good chapter. It's weird though not switching from Legolas's viewpoint. It works , though I do miss Thranduil and the others. They have fun points of view. So, update soon and let us know how Legolas's peace efforts are going. Knowing those two, probably not well.

Author Reply: Bless you, Alice! I was just sitting here trying to write a scene between Legolas and Galelas and your review came. I had completely forgotten that moment in "The Novice" when the two of them cooperate to dump Maldor on his rear. I wasn't even sure at first which story it had happened in. But then I found it and reread it and got to thinking about the strategies that Legolas was using. Wow. Legolas needs to recall that too. And you're right that they're both serious about being warriors. It's just hard for them to remember that they're on the same side.

I think you're absolutely right that Beliond follows Legolas to Ithilien. He'd never let Legoals go alone. I wonder how he and Gimli got along? That thought makes me laugh.

I too find it weird to always be in Legolas's POV. I have a long letter from Eilian coming in the next chapter. I already wrote that part. It's my attempt to let people know how he's doing too.

nessieReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/21/2005
Hey remember me? Yeah, uh sorry I haven't been reviewing. I'm just dropping in to let you know that I am definitely still reading your fics and I'm still loving them. I'm going through that lurking phase again.

Anyways! I really love this story so far! I actually love Galelas. Much more than Tinar. Seriously, how can Tinar's wife stand him? She must consiously count to ten slowly and take deep breaths whenever he gets on her nerves. She deserves a reward for that. A huge, honking reward. And a medal.

I was a little upset though because I like reading certain stories on this site instead of, but I had to read this chapter at because the font is like fricken size 2. Do you know what the deal is with that? Or is it just my computer? Because it's never done that before. But I like reading your fics on this site because the backround is so nice and kinda Elvish-y and I get into the stories more. I dont know why.

Anyways! I'm really loving this story. You always come up with great fics, and in a short span of time too! Update asap!


Author Reply: Tinar's wife's plight is especially horrible when you think about the fact that they're married forever, even after death! Ick. Galelas is much better than that.

So about font size. Try going to "view" at the top of your browser, and then select "font size." See if it got set smaller. Sometimes if you accidentally press the scroll button on your mouse, or press too hard, it changes the size, but only for the site you're on. See if that helps.

KarriReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/19/2005
*tsk* Galelas seems a competent mentor in most ways, but despite their difficult history, he really needs to comprehend that Legolas is his Lieutenant and be more respectful of that. Great chapter!

I hope you are getting a little time to enjoy more of San Francisco than your hotel and conference rooms.

Author Reply: Galelas does need to get over it, but he's having trouble doing so and in the long run, that could hurt him. Poor Galelas.

I'm home again and worn out from struggling through airports. I mostly worked but I did enjoy San Francisco. You won't be surprised to learn that it's am more cosmopolitan city than Ames, Iowa!

esamenReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/19/2005
Every Elf Legolas knew could hear the song of the trees, but Beliond had always claimed that the king’s sons were more in harmony with the woods than others were. Legolas had begun to think that Beliond might be right, but he did not have to like being told so.

I love reading about the magical connection with the woods that Thranduil and his family have . . . this is something so Tolkien and unique to Wood elves.

Galelas hasn't changed . . . or will he? Will we meet Legolas The Diplomat in the next chapter, or Legolas The Fearsome Thranduilion?

And that Sinnarn. He reminds me of an adorable student who is just trouble enough to make you mad but sweet enough to get away with it. His view of the world seems very different from Ithilden's or Legolas's. He seems a little more like Eilian, but without Eilian's depth, somehow. Is he just young?

I'm also looking forward to some cool keeper action. Beliond is always a wild card to me now, after the trip that we all took to -- was it Esgaroth? -- a while ago. I never know what he's going to do. He seems capable of pulling almost any kind of trick out of his sleeve.

And of course, I always hope that Legolas gets into heaps of scary heroic trouble. With all this wilderness around, it sure seems like it could happen. Make my day and get him into deep h/c for a grand finale! Happy typing and please update soon! Thanks for a great read!

P.S. I hope you enjoy CCCC. Judith Gardner, a good friend of mine from University of Texas at San Antonio, is there. Say hi for me if you run into her and can remember that name . . . :-)

Author Reply: Legolas is still pondering his options with Galelas. At least, that's what he was doing this morning when I tried to think about this. Then I got lost in airport madness and decided to let my brain rot.

I think Sinnarn is a lot like Eilian, but he's been sheltered more than Eilian was and I think that's had advantages and disadvantages for him. In one way, Eilian's early obligations have given him more depth. They made him mature in some ways. Of course, they've also burdened him and I think he has a melancholic streak that can be self-destructive. Sinnarn is growing up much more slowly, which may be more normal in elves. Oddly, I think he has that melancholic streak too, which is part of the source of his cynicism about the chances of defeating the shadow.

Beliond doesn't appear much in my notes for this story, but maybe I'll have to remedy that. The interaction between the two brothers and their two keepers was part of the point of that story. And they went to Dale, which is going to be in the ME newpapers very soon.

CCCC was madness because they changed the venue at the last moment. But I had a good time seeing people I hadn't seen in a while. I'm home now and just read this message so I didn't look for Judith Gardner. It would have been fun to meet someone who knows you in RL!

YanicReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/19/2005
Oh I loved this line about Beliond: "Beliond was probably relieved that Legolas was out of danger, but given the wide-ranging life he had led before becoming Legolas’s bodyguard, he had to be bored on occasion too." I would love to hear more about his former "Wide-ranging life". Oh and I don't know if this was intentional (bet it was) but Sinnarn's burned hands in this story mirror his burned hands in "Fire and Shadow". Can't wait to see if there are any other parallels.

Author Reply: Wow, you're a careful reader, Yanic. I didn't even think about Sinnarn's hands being burned in that encounter with the dragon but you are so right. I wonder if it was in the back of my mind, given that it was the same patrol and I know where this story is headed? I'll just pretend that it was!

perellethReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/19/2005
Glad to read from you so soon! My, you're truly dedicated to you readers!! thanks!!!!

Wow. I've just finished reading Tangled Web (I thought it would take you longer to update!) and I'm still shaken by how well you manage to portray the amount of destruction, anguish and loss these elves and men sustained then, so I feel we can expect something equally dark and painful here...sigh. Evidently, life in ME was dangerous and cruel and dark for all creatures, and it is so fitting that you chose to show it in your personal way! (btw, Tangled Way fills one of my all-time favourite gaps! it was wonderfully tangled and cleverly untangled! I always wondered what had happened to the poor guard! It was Sinnarn!!! that was a deep blow ;-)

So, this "Creature of Fire" has a melancholic feeling around it, in spite, or because, all those young warriors eager to be learning, this Legolas recovering from his southern posting, this carefree Sinnarn, the cheeky dwarves, and poor Galelas. Sigh. It is said that envy is one of the most destructive feelings, for both the one who experiences it, and the one who becomes its target, and you clearly show it here. There's little Legolas feels he can do - or feels like doing- to improve the situation, and despite Eilian's best efforts, Galelas will never get to overcome his jealousy. So sad.

On the happier front, I love the way Beliond and Legolas are getting on, so many years after their first meeting. They seem to have adjusted to one another pretty well, and Beliond's dry sense of humour will prove so useful for Legolas in his dealings with Gimli!!!! Killer squirrels indeed!! ;-)

Author Reply: I feel very lucky to have the reviewers I do, but I have to admit that what happens is that I get absorbed in working out a story and hate to put it down. So I wrote on the plane and then in my room in the evenings, feeling happy to have the chance to do it.

I'm glad you liked "Tangled Web." It was an odd story to write. I think you have to know "The Hobbit" fairly well to understand what I was wrestling with. Because if you read that book and try to see it from the Elves' POV, all kinds of questions occur to you. How did the Dwarves get so far without the Elves seeing them? Answer: they didn't. The Elves were watching them. Why did Sauron leave Dol Guldur so easily? Answer: he knew the ring had been found. He sensed it in the forest when Bilbo wore it. And so on. And that battle was much larger than the skirmishes I write on my own. As I tried to work with Tolkien's details, I just was so much more impressed by how powerful his images were. And I just knew that readers would cringe when Legolas made Sinnarn the head guard. :-)

That's a very perceptive comment about jealousy. I do think that Galelas is mistaken about what it is he envies in Legolas. I don't think it's his rank.

I love Beliond. My beta does too. She makes me put him everything (thank Eru!).

BrazgirlReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/19/2005
Hi Daw! It was nice of you to post one more chapter while on travel. And also answer to reviews!! :-D
Hum... seems Legolas will have to solve old problems now. I wonder how his little chat with Galelas will be! It must be hard for him to do his job being the king's son and deal with people like Galelas. And in this case is worse because it comes since their time as novices.
Sometimes I pity Sinnarn. The guy is not only a member of the royal family, the king's grandson but ALSO the troop commander's son. And being the troop commander Ithilden... things get worse. It must be hard to be in the same patrol with a member of the family and being this member an officer show the proper respect without raising personal subjects, especially in front of others. But I think he will do well (at least his grandfather has faith in him, what I think the most amusing!) and he is cute!!!

Author Reply: My hotel had an internet hookup and I couldn't resist. It was a relief to leave work and check into the virtual world once in a while.

Legolas is in a tough position as the king's son. I think you're right about that. He has to be able to separate his warrior role from his role as Thranduil's youngest son, and the trouble is that other people don't always succeed in doing that.

You're a reviewer after my own heart because you feel sorry for Sinnarn. I would NOT want to be doing what he is doing. He has a terribly fine line to tread and if he slips off it just once, everyone is down on him. Except for his grandfather, of course. :-)

White WolfReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/19/2005
It was great to see Legolas's spirit soar at being in a healthy and beautiful part of the forest. It's where a wood elf truly belongs.

I don't think it's a mystery that there will be a blow-up between Legolas and Galelas. Can’t wait.

Legolas handled the incident with the dwarves like a responsible officer should have. Adar and the brothers would be proud.

Author Reply: You're so right about a Wood-elf needing good trees! The forest is part of him. When it suffers, so does he. And I've been having a good time writing about Legolas as an authoritative adult. He's attractive that way! :-)

DotReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/19/2005
This is a very elfy chapter!! This part of the forest sounds so beautiful. I imagine it must become a little dull after a while, though, to have more or less the same routine with little to make it interesting. It certainly seems too tranquil for Beliond, anyway! Of course, he loves the trees so he’d probably be quite happy there if he could somehow get rid of the rest of the patrol…

I really liked the part with Gweddyn and Deliwyn. Gweddyn (doesn’t his name sound like a Welsh village?!) seems like the perfect person to train new warriors. Not everyone would make the effort to point out the good work of others. I thought it was a nice moment when Legolas realises how much care goes into guiding and training them, almost always unnoticed by the young warriors. Beliond certainly was a different kettle of fish, but then, he had to learn his role too. And even on the many occasions when he reprimanded Legolas, I don’t recall him doing so in front of the officers. One of my favourite things about this story so far is the relationship between Beliond and Legolas. They’re such fun to watch now that they’re at ease with one another and can treat each other more or less as equals.

“He had forgotten how hungry young warriors always were.” LOL! Has he forgotten how much sleep they need too, eh?! How things have changed.

I still have trouble thinking of Galelas as being responsible for younger elves. It sounds like he’s fairly good, though, and thorough in his job. What a pity Legolas had to come along and spoil things for him!

What a fantastic moment when Legolas realises he’s the only one who has noticed the trees’ confusion. I had to laugh at the reaction of the two younger warriors. I don’t think Galelas is going to be too happy if they’re that impressed by Legolas, though! Beliond seems to have enjoyed the scene too.

Dwarves! How exciting! Elves seem extraordinarily fond of materialising out of nowhere and frightening the life out of people. I suppose I’d enjoy it too if I could manage it… Does the length of beard denote rank then? Legolas really does know how to be scary when he wants to. The poor dwarves haven’t done anything terrible. That I know of. O.k., so they should really have stuck to the agreement between Thranduil and Thrór… I was probably just feeling sorry for them when they thought that they wouldn’t get to have their meal. That would have been so mean! I was surprised when the elves were invited to join them for dinner, though! What a wonderful image! I bet Sinnarn will be jealous. I like too that Legolas directed Deliwyn to serve the leader of the dwarves next. It is, after all, possible to be respectful and menacing at the same time ;-) So are we going to see these dwarves again? They did mention Erebor… And a certain dragon seems likely to make an appearance soon…

“Here we are,” Vanduil said, cheerily.” I can just see the dwarves wondering exactly where “here” is. There’s something rather touching about the way Legolas pities anyone who isn’t in tune with the forest. It must be hard to understand that others can’t feel something that’s so much a part of him. Then again, the dwarves probably pity the elves for not understanding stone and the earth as they do.

Fire-jumping?? But can they do it whilst juggling five knives, I wonder…?! I’m still laughing at Sinnarn’s assertion that “I am not an idiot, after all.” I think the idiotic part was doing it in the first place, not doing it in front of Elorfin or Nithron. I’m kind of torn between the two of them. Legolas is absolutely right that Sinnarn’s injury is his business as the patrol’s lieutenant and that he should never do something so foolish while on patrol. But I can’t help feeling sympathy towards Sinnarn’s need to seek some amusement and it’s terrible to hear the bitterness in his voice. I take it Amdir has been transferred elsewhere? Sinnarn does still seem to have some trouble reconciling the playful Legolas at festivals with his lieutenant. It’s probably not so much that Sinnarn has trouble separating duty and pleasure but that he has more trouble deciding which to put first sometimes. Maybe he needs to be sent to a more dangerous patrol. Then again, he’s never seemed as determined as his father and uncles to be rid of the Shadow and sees fighting it more as the losing battle that it really is – so who can blame him for wanting to “take any chance for joy” in the midst of all this.

“Galelas tells me that Vanduil is still having trouble keeping aware of the need to position himself correctly when he is excited.” Hmmn. This is actually the only problem I have with Galelas in this chapter. He seems good at both his own job and in guiding Vanduil. But he definitely should have told Legolas about Vanduil’s trouble, especially when Legolas outright asked him. Maybe he felt that Legolas would criticise his training of the young warrior. These two just rub each other up the wrong way. That Elorfin seems very happy with Galelas’ performance in that patrol so far makes it slightly more difficult for Legolas because the captain would have no reason to assume that most of it is Galelas’ fault. We know that they never become friends but they’ll have to find a way to work together. It’s just unfortunate for Legolas that it really falls to him to do something about it. But I’m looking forward to seeing what solution he comes up with!! :-)

Author Reply: LOL about Beliond being happier if he could just get rid of those other pesky warriors! I too like seeing him and Legolas more comfortable together, although half the time I still have to stop and ask myself if I've got it right for this point in time.

I think that Legolas and Galelas bring out the worst in one another. Galelas is doing OK in guiding Vanduil, and may even be able to tell himself that he was just protecting the younger warrior when he didn't tell Legolas what happened. He'd be fooling himself of course. He didn't want to cooperate and he enjoyed making Legolas look ignorant in front of the captain.

I was guessing about the length of the Dwarves' beard being a clue to who was leader. That seems to be the case with Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit, although there were other markers there too. We might see these Dwarves again. I'll have to see.

And yes, Vanduil can sense just where the line in the forest is over which the Dwarves shouldn't have crossed and the Dwarves can't. But as you say, the Dwarves have an intuition of stony life that the Elves lack (although Legolas hears the stones in Hollin when the Fellowship passes through there).

I spent some time writing about Sinnarn for my own sake this week. I wanted to have a better sense of exactly why he behaves as he does. And I think that his sense that the battle is a losing one is part of it. He's more cynical than the older generation is. It's just his nature. And I thought that Ithilden would make sure that Amdir and Sinnarn weren't stationed together if he at all could.

I'm looking forward to seeing Legolas's solution too! I'm not quite sure what it is yet, but I have faith in him.

thechevinReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/19/2005
Another lovely chapter the way Legolas feels about the forests was very well portrayed as was the desperation he feels when in the south where the trees are being taken over by the shadow
Trust Beliond to have something to say on the matter, his minder really does know his charge well.
I rather like his idea of the squirrels perhaps they can gang up on Galelas who is doing no one any favours presently, he is obviously a good warrior but ....! Perhaps he is a republican as in anti-monarchist
I love it when Legolas catches himself saying or thinking something about Sinnarn that his father has said about him earlier in his life how unsettling that can be
and Sinnarn another mixed up youngster Elorfin must have his work cut out with all these young ones in his patrol all those raging hormones, do elves have hormones?
The confrontation with the dwarves and the patrol showed how far Legolas has come and how much more confident he is in his own position now I hope Galelas will not undermine that confidence
thank you

Author Reply: Given the Wood-elves connection to the forest, I think they must have really felt the devastation around Dol Guldur, and I'm happy to give Legolas (and Eilian) a chance to be in a healthy forest for a change.

I've been enjoying writing about adult, capable Legolas, even if his father's words sometimes come out of his mouth (an experience we all have probably shared! Well, not Thranduil's words, although that would be nice, but you know what I mean).

I'm sure Elves have hormones, although Tolkien says that their minds are in greater control of their bodies than is the case with men. I think they probably have to learn to do that though, and I'll bet there's a range of ability to manage it.

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